After a year of dead-on-arrival box office bombs, Adam Sandler returns to the top, and all he had to do was transmogrify into an animated vampire. Hotel Transylvania 2, the surprisingly not-bad sequel to the surprisingly not-bad original, fanged and desiccated its competition and set a record for biggest September opening with a $47.5 million haul. Actually, all of the films in the top five for the weekend performed really well. Nancy Meyer’s The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro made an admirable $18.2 million. The Maze Runner sequel scorched another $14 million, while Everest chilled audiences for $13 million. I don’t have a good pun for Johnny Depp’s Black Mass, which slightly underperformed with $11.5, but that’s still a solid haul for a fifth-place movie. There wasn’t a single film in this weekend’s top-12 that has grossed over $60 million yet, though the total cume for the top-12 was $127.4 million, the highest top-12 gross since Straight Outta Compton opened the weekend of August 14.
Green Inferno, Eli Roth’s ode to cannibalism and misappropriation of culture, made $3.5 million. The film premiered two years ago but only got U.S. distribution this year. The excellent drug-war thriller Sicario pulled in $1.7 million on 59 screens, while Mississippi Grind made $14,335 on one screen and 99 Homes made $32,807 on two. On the weaker side of the box office, Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall sunk. The film was greeted with vitriolic reviews by critics for its poor representation of the historic Stonewall Riots and barely made $112,000. Though Emmerich is a guy who’s made a career destroying the box office by destroying civilization in large-scale blockbusters, it seems destroying history is a lot less profitable.